Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

Divers 4 Heroes honors eleven combat wounded U.S. Vets in Bimini

by John Bell on 27 Dec 2013
Veterans at Bimini Bull Run Debbie Rivera
Representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, eleven men recently entered an underwater realm of reefs, wrecks and sharks off the coast of Bimini where they maneuvered freely and for a moment, left troubled memories and disabilities at the dock.

For the avid diver, it’s an endless debate on the top dive destinations, but what is not in debate is that Bimini consistently ends up on that list, and that the historic Bimini Big Game Club and Resort offers one of the best dive experiences in The Bahamas, an archipelago of 700 islands sweeping across 500 miles of open ocean.

'Bimini has no shortage of great dive sites: Reefs, Wrecks, Walls, Drift Dives, our famous Atlantis Road and truly amazing Shark and Wild Dolphin Encounters - you name it,' said Michael Weber, General Manager of the 51-room Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina where the veterans stayed. 'We’re also providing unique dive encounters early in 2014 with the elusive Great Hammerheads which annually congregate off our shores in Bimini.'


Tiny Bimini, with some 1,500 permanent residents, was a short plane ride for the special unit of veterans departing from Fort Lauderdale. The flight, aboard Tropic Ocean Airways’ new Cessna Caravan Amphibian was a great start to the diving adventure.

'These were brothers and it was a privilege to provide them with the transportation,' said Tropic Ocean partner and founder Rob Ceravolo, a Navy Top Gun-rated fighter pilot. 'Divers 4 Heroes is an outstanding organization and I was happy to be part of this trip.'

Founded in Key West in 2007, the non-profit Diver 4 Heroes organization (www.divers4heroes.org ) has served hundreds of warriors with all levels of abilities. It’s goal, according to Debbie Twillman, co-founder and executive director, is to introduce the gravity free environment of our underwater world to all warriors who have been injured—mind, body or spirit—with the use of SCUBA.


'The therapeutic value to this type of program for wounded warriors is priceless,' said a Purple Heart Wounded Warrior.

Working with dive operator Scotty Gray of Blue Iguana Charters and his team, Divers 4 Heroes provides all levels of instruction and training for certification.

'No gravity, no ache, no pain….I’m freeeee,' wrote one Purple Heart recipient, who sought relief and a better quality of life through SCUBA.


In Bimini, the group enjoyed the recently opened Bimini Bull Run (www.biminibullrun.com) at-the-dock shark cage encounter and several offshore dives, encountering a variety of Reef Sharks, Triggerfish and Sting Rays.

'It was indescribable being in the water watching these beautiful, huge animals feed and interact with other sharks, and these amazing warriors swimming with them,' said Twillman, a DiveMaster from Lakeland, Florida.

Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look BackHarken AUS Reflex 660x82upffront 660x82

Related Articles

Hamilton Island Race Week - Supermaxis battle on Day 2 + Video
Photographer Michael Chittenden is on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Photographer Michael Chittenden is on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and provided this gallery of images on a day when the supermaxi Scallywag beat Wild Oats XI for the first time. Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn commentate the video of Race Day 2
Posted on 23 Aug
Mid-week weekend at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Layday came early for the AHIRW fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Layday came early for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out on the Eastern course area, in the Turtle Bay vicinity.
Posted on 23 Aug
AHIRW Day 3 - Audi Hamilton Island Whale Watching Week
Day three saw no racing for any of the 252 entries at AHIRW, but there was plenty of people and whale watching 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Day three saw no racing for any of the 252 entries at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, but there was plenty of people and whale watching to be done for the media! I have to say it is the best postponement I have had in my 20+ years of sailing!
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
AHIRW - Day 2 - Ichi Ban and Concubine in the Tavern
Another gorgeous day on Hamilton Island, but breeze was not entirely on board with keeping the on-water action up to par 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Another gorgeous day on Hamilton Island, but the breeze was not entirely on board with keeping the on-water action up to par with the off-water activities!
Posted on 23 Aug
Infiniti 46 features Doyle Sails BR0 - Blast Reaching Zero - Video
Video of the Infiniti 46 at speed using Doyle Sails including a fore-sail that measures as a jib and is used for blast r Video of the Infiniti 46 at speed using Doyle Sails including a fore-sail that measures as a jib and is used for blast reaching. Designed by DSS-creator Hugh Welbourn the Infiniti 46 is 14.10m LOA, with a beam of 3.90m and a 3.35m draft. Her displacement is listed at 5300kg. She is full carbon construction.
Posted on 22 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Downwind Racing
With a backdrop of dark rain clouds, the fleet raced downwind from Lindeman Island to the finish in Dent Passage With a backdrop of dark rain clouds, the fleet raced downwind from Lindeman Island to the finish in Dent Passage getting a good soaking shortly after the video was shot.
Posted on 22 Aug
Time and tide on Day 2 of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
A light breeze and cloudy skies saw 12 of the 14 divisions scheduled for many island courses starting from Dent Passage. The Trailables Division led the vanguard at the first start gun, but it soon became apparent that plugging a strong south going current in such light breeze was going to make for a very slow and congested start to the day.
Posted on 22 Aug
AHIRW - Day 1 - 'Pillow Talk' and Scallywag's Honeymooners
A record-breaking fleet of 252 boats and catching up with so many of my sailing mates from around the world Amazing to be back on Hamilton Island for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. A record-breaking fleet of 252 boats, a stunning location, and catching up with so many of my sailing mates from around the world, what could be better?
Posted on 22 Aug